Thursday, July 30, 2009

Fierce Advocacy Revealed on "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"

Right now, I wish BHO had not self-identified as a "fierce advocate" for gay rights. There is not too much in his political past that reflects that. I thought it was a rather bold, almost pandering, statement when I heard it. Democratic Congressman John Lewis is a "fierce advocate." Republican Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, on the issue of repealing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," has become a "fierce advocate."

Congressman Alcee Hastings was on Rachel Maddow's show last night. I agreed with all of his points as to why "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" needs to go. He spoke like a "fierce advocate."

Hastings' points are irrefutable. This is becoming a national security issue; I've wondered if any of the fired service members have moved into the intelligence communities. For our sake, I hope so.

There are those who have pointed out to me that gay service members, in their experiences, simply told of their sexual orientation to get out of the service. I am sure that that is true for some. Yet, does that make it alright to lump those members in with those gays who want nothing more than to continue to serve? For those gay service members who really want to remain in the military (probably a much larger number than those who simply want out), I think that they deserve a fierce advocates like Congressman Hastings and Congressman Patrick Murphy.

Isn't it a shame that after BHO's call to Congress to take the necessary steps to begin the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" that there is no real support from the White House or Congressional Leadership? Is there really a long term strategy that the White House is devising in the quiet corners of the West Wing? Or are too many around BHO living like it's 1993?


Scott said...

One of the excuses making the rounds for Obama's inaction on DADT is that it's Rahm Emanuel's fault. He is supposedly scaring the hell out of anyone who brings up the subject, pointing out how Clinton's effort to end discrimination in the military early in his own first term ended in disaster.

Fair point I suppose. Not only did Clinton's efforts divert attention and bleed political capital that some (Emanuel for one) believe damaged his Presidency and helped to weaken him in his effort to reform health care, it also led to the "Don't Ask" policy which was supposed to be a "compromise" but in fact simply added the element of hypocrisy to the military's discrimination policy.

I guess I'm still willing to give Obama the benefit of the doubt on this. He is wrestling with the Republicans AND the Blue Dogs right now over healthcare, and I suppose he does think ending DADT now would be a distraction.

But I'm with you on one thing Free, I'm not buying the "Fierce Advocate" line until there's a little meat on them bones.

Anonymous said...

good post, Scott.

Anonymous said...

First of all, before invoking Rep. Hastings, you might want to recall that he was impeached as a federal judge, and removed from office for corruption and perjury. Not necessarily relevant to the gay agenda, but ugh. He was only the 6th Federal judge to be impeached. Even Leahy voted to remove him. He's a disgrace. And guess who he got to elect him?

Obama has broken countless campaign promises, and this won't be his last. It's what politicians do.

I think the left would have more credibility on this issue if they showed some attention to military issues in general and not just when they wanted to use it to further their social agenda.

If the left is going to insist on this change they will either have to provide funding for four (or five) sets of accommodations (straight male, straight female, gay male, gay female, transgender?) on all military establishments and ships, etc. Or they just should insist on unisex facilities. I'm sure the 18 and 19 year old men and women in the services will not be affected at all by showering and sleeping together!

Anonymous said...

>four (or five) sets of accommodations (straight male, straight female, gay male, gay female, transgender?)

This is a red herring. There are currently gays in the military and there is no specialized quarters/facilities. Why should things change if DADT is repealed?

Scott said...

Well its a well known fact that the reason the Israeli military is so inept is that they have gays in their services and spend all their time building separate bathrooms for everybody. I know this is true because I'm pretending I read it someplace.

In fact, just about every military in what we like to call the "free world" has gays serving openly. The Brits, French, Italians, Spanish...all of 'em. And all any of them do is build bathrooms!

Hmm. Was what I just did there elitist contempt...or sarcasm? Whatever. Hostile for sure.